LEAGUE OF HIS OWN
‘I FELT LIKE A CAGED BIRD WHO HAD TO CONFORM’
WHEN Kevin Gordon quit the Gold Coast Titans and a $350,000-a-year contract at 25, he left to travel the US and chase an entertainment career.
Now back on the Gold Coast he has self-released an album, a plethora of zany videos and plans to rollerblade to Sydney in a promo stunt.
The now 28-year-old has opened up to the
Bulletin and tells doubters why he has not “lost the plot” and feels liberated.
THREE years on from quitting a $350,000-a-year rugby league career with the Gold Coast Titans at just 25, Kevin Gordon admits a lot of people think he’s “lost the plot”.
The NRL cult figure is now pursuing music stardom and frequently posting zany videos online but says he has no regrets despite walking away from the final two years of his lucrative contract.
Gordon, 28, back on the Gold Coast for the past year after 20 months trying to crack into movies in Los Angeles and travelling, has selfreleased his first album, called the Album of the Year under the moniker Deep Gordon.
He admitted in a wide-ranging interview this week he had felt stifled as a rugby league player, upset his father by quitting and despite having two properties was down to his final $10 last month and scrambled with his flatmates three musicians – to pay rent.
But he was happy with his chosen path and the only thing he missed about playing for the Titans was scoring tries.
“I had this energy around me like ‘you’re a footy player, that’s all you can be. Do that for 20 years until you can’t walk any more’. It was holding me down.
“A lot of people out there are saying I’ve lost the plot. But I don’t care. It just motivates me to go hard. My dad doesn’t really believe in me. That is someone I care about so why would I care about what someone else thinks who I don’t even know?”
By the end of his playing career, he said he was using painkillers daily due to chronic hip and knee injuries and he grappled for most of his final season with whether to quit the game he had dedicated his youth to.
The most difficult part of retiring was telling his father.
“He said ‘You’ve got houses to pay off, you can’t just pull the pin, what about the money?’ It wasn’t until I said ‘Do you want me to keep playing until I can’t walk anymore?’ My hip, my knee, I had to take painkillers every day for training. After I said that he sort of came to grips with it.
“But I can understand how hard it would have been for him. He was always there supporting me. I think that was why it was pretty hard.”
Gordon has set up a music studio in his Merrimac home he owns, saying he went into hibernation recording the Album of the Year which features him singing, rapping and using his own self-sourced samples on 11 tracks.
He also has a bunch of videos documenting his travels across the US and other snippets of his post-NRL life.
“It’s a freedom, just expressing myself, my videos, just creating myself, it’s liberating,” he said. “I wake up and say ‘What do I want to make today, bring to life?’
“(At the Titans) I felt like a caged bird and conforming to just being a footy player, you have sponsors and the club and have to abide by their rules, you can’t do anything out of the norm.
“This year I’ve been like music, it’s my passion, why haven’t I seen this before?
“I’m just trying to inspire people, if they see me expressing myself to my fullest impefections, they might think if he can do it, I can do it.”
He admits it hasn’t been as lucrative as rugby league. Whilst one of his properties is rented and “pays for itself”, he lives in the other and at times is “living on the tuna cans”.
Thankfully an insurance company recently paid $6000 for two promotional videos.
“It came down to the last $10 and I said ‘Boys, we need the rent in or the bank is going to ring. But it’s alright, the darkest hour always comes before the sun rises.”
He has faith the sun will rise on him again with music.
“One thing I learned from footy was the amount of work it takes to be professional at the top. All I have to do is take the work it takes to get to the top of footy and apply that to this form.”
Kevin Gordon in Surfers Paradise yesterday; (inset) playing for the Titans, 2013.